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Gladwin Uses Big Second Half to Win First Regional Championship Since 1998

MUSKEGON – The Gladwin Flying G’s scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to beat Muskegon Oakridge 26-8 in the Division 5, Region 1 Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Gladwin took a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter on a fortunate play near the goal line. The ball popped out of the arms of running back Logan Kokotovich but fell right into the lap of tight end Isaac Hale for the Gladwin touchdown.

Oakridge took an 8-6 halftime lead thanks to a rushing touchdown by Trevor Jones and subsequent two-point conversion.

Gladwin made some adjustments at halftime and came flying out of the gates in the third quarter. Running back Earl Esiline ripped off a long touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. He added a second rushing touchdown later in the quarter to make it 20-8 Gladwin.

“We just wanted to go more to our power run game,” said head coach Marc Jarstfer. “We thought in that first half they kind of out-physicaled us a little bit and exerted their dominance on us. That’s something that doesn’t happen very often and so at halftime we challenged them to come out and play a physical second half and we went to our power package.”

Then in the fourth quarter, quarterback Nick Wheeler capped it off with a short touchdown run to make it 26-8 Flying G’s.

This is Gladwin’s first regional championship since 1998. The Flying G’s will play Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the state semifinals next week.

Grand Rapids Catholic Central is 11-1 this season and beat Portland 42-7 in the regional championship. The Cougars have won a state championship five of the past six years.

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